UPS Lost Package


July 6, 2023

In January 2020, people reported about 1.7 million lost or stolen packages daily. Such figures resulted in an average of $25 million in lost items.

Despite these numbers, one survey showed that the United Parcel Service (UPS) may be the most trusted company for delivering packages.

Thus, shipping with UPS may give your package a better chance of reaching your recipient.

But what if your package gets lost or damaged despite UPS’ best efforts? How do you file a claim with UPS? Can you get a refund if your item is proven lost?

This article explains how to file a lost package claim and manage your claim through the UPS website. This article also discusses how you can get a refund and how to keep your items from getting lost or damaged.

To learn more about UPS and its services or locate a post office near you, visit This online search tool can help you find post offices Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, Houston, and other cities in the United States and help you learn more about the country’s shipping and mail services.

UPS Lost Package: Now What?

Waiting for a package you’re eager to receive can be exciting. If the item is important, you can check its tracking status frequently.

Plus, entrusting the package to a reputable shipping company like UPS can give you a feeling of certainty that your package will arrive safely.

But what happens when your UPS package does not arrive? You may feel stress and anxiety knowing that your package may be lost.

What to Do if Your Package Never Arrives

If you don’t receive your package after its delivery period has passed, you can contact UPS to report a missing package. If you have an account on the UPS website, go to your account and file a lost package claim.

If you don’t have an account, you can still file a claim on the UPS website by specifying the package’s tracking number and describing your item.

How Does the UPS Claims Process Work?

You can file a UPS claim for lost or damaged packages within 60 days of their scheduled delivery or if you do not receive a collect-on-delivery (COD) payment.

After UPS receives your claim request, processing takes about 8 to 15 days.

During this period, UPS will promptly investigate each loss or damage claim as prescribed in the service terms and conditions.

Once UPS approves the claim and receives the payment documents, claims processing can take three to five days.

How to File a Missing Package Claim With UPS

When filing a claim for damage to or loss of property, you must include the package’s shipment date, tracking number, and the nature of the damage or loss. You can file a claim notice through one of the following methods:

  • Submit a claim online on the UPS website’s claims page
  • Call 1-800-PICK-UPS (1-800-7425-877)

Other things to remember when filing a claim include the following:

  • Your claim must be in electronic communication or writing and include a reference to the source document or pickup record number and shipment date.

The claim can also include copies of other documents to help identify your shipment and its declared value.

  • Your claim must assert UPS’ liability for alleged damage or loss.
  • Your request must claim payment for a specific amount of money.
  • Your claim must have a copy of the original invoice or other certified proof mentioning the purchase price paid by the consignee, the extent of the damage to the property, or the item’s actual or replacement cost.

Start a Claim

To file a lost package claim with UPS, follow the steps shown below:

Step 1: Provide Package Details

When filling out the claim form, provide your shipment details to help UPS locate your item faster. These details include your package’s weight and tracking number and the recipient’s contact information.

Step 2: Identify Your Role

Specify your relationship to the lost or damaged package, whether you are the sender, receiver, third party, or shipper’s appointed representative.

If you have no UPS account, you can file a claim on the UPS website as a guest.

If you are the package shipper, UPS will likely require you to provide additional documentation. Also, claim status after submission is limited to you.

Step 3: Enter Detailed Package Information

Invoices, receipts, purchase orders, and other documentation associated with the item you ship can help identify merchandise. UPS also recommends taking photos of the damaged package and attaching them to your claim form.

Step 4: Submit Your Claim

After completing and submitting the claim form online, UPS will notify you and provide up-to-date information regarding your claim’s status on your dashboard.

Manage Claims

With a UPS account, you can manage your lost package claims through the claims dashboard on the UPS website. The following sections describe the functions you can perform through this dashboard.

Make Changes to Your Claim

The claims dashboard allows you to edit information and upload additional supporting documents when filing lost package claims.

Submit a New Claim

The UPS website’s claims dashboard lets you file new claims through a secure application.

View Claims History

If you have filed a claim on the dashboard, you can review it for up to 270 days on your claims history.

Export Data

Suppose you have an online business and ship merchandise frequently through UPS. You can utilize your UPS account’s dashboard to export claims data and use this information to generate reports that can help with your business decision-making.

Set Preferences

The claims dashboard allows you to customize your preferences and choose how UPS contacts you regarding claims.

Customize Your Layout

Depending on your needs, such as ease of interface use, you can change your dashboard’s layout.

Dashboard Visibility

Log in to your UPS account to view your claims dashboard. This interface allows you to add new claims, submit payment documents, and view your filed reports’ status.

You can also check the total claims made, those in progress, or approved claims.

Claims Status

If you have a claim on your dashboard, you may encounter various status updates related to your claim’s progress. These statuses include the following:

  • Claim issued: You have issued a claim and provided the payment documents.
  • Shipment inspection scheduled: UPS has scheduled an investigation of the lost or damaged package.
  • Claim reported – Supporting document(s) received: UPS has uploaded your submitted papers for your claim.
  • Claim review in progress: The UPS claims department is reviewing your claims.
  • Claim review complete: UPS has completed its claim investigation and will send you the results soon.
  • Claim not approved – Insufficient merchandise description: UPS will require a detailed description of your goods to finish the investigation.
  • Claim not approved – Unable to contact receiver: UPS requires accurate receiver contact information before completing the investigation.
  • Payment has been processed for your claim: You can check the payment details on your claims dashboard.


After submitting your lost package claim, you’ll receive notifications from UPS on your claims dashboard. Consider checking these notifications regularly, as they can include updated information on your claim’s status.

Claim Authorized

If UPS can’t locate the missing package, the company will email, fax, or mail a notification letter to the shipper. If you’re the receiver, the carrier won’t send claim letters to you.

Should UPS locate your package, the courier will not approve your claim. UPS will send the delivery information to the shipper and end the reporting process.


You can request payment after issuing a claim for a lost package by sending a payment request form to UPS from your account.

When sending the request, you must provide documentation showing the actual cost, purchase price, repair cost, or replacement cost of the item for which you are filing the claim.

The fastest way to receive payment for your claim is by providing UPS with your bank account number and routing number, bank identification code, or sort code. If you do not provide this information, you can still add it after filing your claim.

You can also request UPS to send you a paper check instead. This option can take up to 15 days for the check to arrive.

Carrier Pays the Claim to Client

UPS will process the payment once the company approves your claim and receives the supporting documentation in the claim letter or request form.

Depending on the information you provide in the documentation, the claim payment can differ from the amount you initially requested.

If the payment amount differs, UPS will include an explanation on the check stub. Typically, UPS mails claim checks to your billing address on the company’s file within three to five business days after receiving the required documentation.

Should UPS not approve your claim for payment, the carrier will notify you of this development.

On the other hand, after the carrier pays you and you receive the money, the process is complete.

How to Track Your UPS Missing Package Claim

UPS claims can take about 10 days to investigate and process, after which you may receive full reimbursement, depending on how you can prove your claim.

You can file a claim with UPS whether you’re the shipper, receiver, or a third party. As long as you have documentation and other evidence like photos, invoices, or receipts, UPS may decide on the claim’s outcome in your favor. 

After submitting your claim, UPS will update you regularly on the status of your request through your preferred communication method.

You can also check the progress using the claims dashboard by logging in to your account.

What Can Lead to a Lost Package

Several reasons can cause your package to be lost or damaged. These reasons include the following:

  • Using a box that is too big or too small
  • Having insufficient cushioning
  • Having poorly placed labels
  • Putting unclear delivery instructions
  • Reusing an old box
  • Not removing old labels

Preventing Damage or Loss

To avoid damages, UPS recommends several tips that can help bring your package safe and sound to its destination. The following sections discuss these damage and loss prevention tips.

Select an Appropriate Box or Container

When choosing a box to pack your item, select a rigid box with all flaps intact and use strong shipping tape to seal the box.

Avoid using string paper (a string made of paper for decorative packaging) or wrapping paper.

If you reuse old boxes, remove any shipment markings and old labels.

Use Sufficient Cushioning and Padding

If you pack multiple items in one box, wrap each item separately. Placing plenty of cushioning materials inside the box can help protect your shipment, especially if it contains fragile items.

Ensure Proper Labeling on Your Package

The label you use on the package must have clear and concise delivery information and return details to help ensure the courier delivers the item to the correct address and recipient.

You can also leave a copy of the address label inside your package as a safety measure.

Consider Alternative Delivery Options

Not all UPS shipments are easy to pack and ship. Some items require more packing preparation before you can mail them to their destination.

For example, when you ship clothes, consider folding each piece and placing them in individual plastic bags.

If you ship animals, UPS requires all live animal shipments to have clear markings on opposite sides with “Live animals” written in bold, block lettering.

Stay Informed About Your Package Delivery Status

Each time a UPS personnel scans your package, the company’s tracking system captures your shipment’s movement.

Your package’s delivery status will show whether your item is moving through the UPS network, transferred to a United States Postal Service (USPS) post office, or delivered to your recipient.

Get Expert Help With Proper Packaging

The UPS website provides a guide that can help you pack your items properly. If you need to ship special items like food, animals, and alcohol, UPS’ packaging guidelines can help you box these items properly.

For instance, when packing a laptop, UPS recommends wrapping the device with bubble wrap and placing it in a snug-fitting plastic bag to prevent static electricity risks.

“What Can I Do if UPS Tracking Says My Package Is Delivered, but I Don’t Have My Package?”

Suppose you have bought an item on eBay or Amazon, and your package’s tracking information shows UPS has delivered your item, but you can’t find the package. Inform the seller that you didn’t receive your package, and they can contact UPS on your behalf to initiate a search.

Although you can contact UPS yourself, having the seller coordinate with the company may be more effective because the seller is likely partnered and doing business with UPS.

If the driver leaves a delivery notice, but you cannot find your package, consider checking the notice’s details and looking around your home. The driver may have left specific information on where to locate your package.

For example, the driver may have written in the notice that they left the package with your neighbor.

After reading the notice and following the instructions, if you still can’t find the package, reach out to the sender and have them contact UPS.

Identify Lost Packages Based on the Status of the Package With the Carrier

For an item to be considered lost, the recipient must not have received it for at least 24 hours after the expected delivery date and time. However, if environmental factors like adverse weather delay the delivery, consider allowing additional time before reporting the item as lost.

After reporting a lost or stolen package to UPS, you can check the item’s delivery status online.

For more questions or concerns, contact UPS customer service at 1-800-742-5877 from Monday to Friday, 7:30 AM to 11:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Watch Out for Scams

Some scammers send phishing emails (emails pretending to come from legitimate institutions or someone you know) containing fake tracking links that make you think you have a delivery, even when there’s none.

If you open any of those links, the scammer can gain unauthorized access to your private information or download malware (malicious software designed to harm or exploit your device) onto your computer.

These emails can also trick you into paying fake shipping fees for a nonexistent delivery.

The BBB (Better Business Bureau) warns consumers of suspicious texts, calls, or emails about missed deliveries. Other recommendations to avoid falling for such scams include:

  • Not leaving delivered packages on your doorstep
  • Opening your delivery upon receiving it to check the package contents for signs of tampering or damage
  • Requesting a signature to ensure someone gets the package


  1. Why can’t I submit my claim on

You may be unable to submit a claim for the following reasons:

  • Shipper restriction: If you’re the recipient, the sender may have restricted the account not to allow you or third parties to initiate the claims process.
  • Account authentication: UPS has not yet authenticated your account.
  • Release packages: The package you have chosen for the UPS driver to release is not eligible for claims submission.
  • Past liability: You may not have submitted your claim within a specific time frame.
  • Current investigation open: You cannot submit a claim if you have one that’s currently open.
  1. Can I track my missing package with UPS?

If you have a UPS reference number, you can use it to track your missing parcel. If you don’t have this number, ask the shipper for it.

After receiving the reference number, visit the UPS website’s tracking page and use the number to track your item.

  1. Can I get a refund from UPS for my missing packages?

Suppose you have a missing package or UPS doesn’t deliver it by the guaranteed date and time. You can consider requesting a refund by contacting UPS customer support at 1-800-742-5877.

  1. When is the right time to report a problem with my package?

Different mailing services can have varying delivery times, especially if your item comes from overseas.

Consider referring to the shipper’s terms and conditions to get information on reporting a damaged or lost package. Doing so can provide accurate time frames for when to start a claim.

  1. How long does the claim process take?

After filing your UPS claim with supporting documentation, the company can process your report in 8 to 15 business days.

For approved claims with payment paperwork provided, UPS can typically process the payment shorter, between three to five days.

  1. Where is the payment for a claim sent?

If you’re the shipper of the lost package, UPS can send claim payments to your address or your specified payee.

If you select electronic fund transfer (EFT) as your payment option, UPS will deposit the payment directly into your bank account.

  1. How long will UPS take to investigate damage or find my lost package or uncollected COD?

UPS can take about 10 days to investigate your claim. If the investigation is successful, you can be eligible for a refund.

  1. Why have I received a damage or loss notification letter from UPS?

After UPS finishes its investigation, the company will send a damage or loss notification letter outlining the results. The letter also specifies your next steps to get reimbursed for the lost value of the package.

  1. What should I do when UPS sends me a damage or loss notification letter?

Suppose the lost package claim investigation succeeds. The letter that UPS sends you regarding your damaged or lost package will contain instructions on what to do next to receive your refund.

Follow the letter’s instructions by logging into your UPS account and using the claims dashboard to complete the claims process.

  1. Will UPS pay to replace my missing package?

If you are eligible for reimbursement for a missing UPS package, the company will send the payment as a paper check or via EFT.

Choose EFT if you prefer UPS directly depositing the money into your bank account. On the other hand, choose a paper check if you want a physical check mailed to you that you can deposit in person.

  1. How long before UPS considers a package lost?

Suppose UPS hasn’t delivered your package 24 hours after the expected delivery date and time. You can consider the item lost, and you can file a report.

  1. How does UPS investigate a lost package?

Depending on the details you provide in the lost package report, the investigation can involve searching the shipping system and operation centers and calling the shipper and recipient.

This process can take about 10 days to complete.

To check the progress of your claim, go to the claims dashboard on the UPS website.

  1. Does UPS ever find a lost package?

Determining whether UPS can find your package depends on various circumstances, and there’s no guarantee that UPS can locate the missing item.

However, if you file a claim and UPS finds the lost package, the company will no longer approve the claim. Instead, UPS will deliver the package to the recipient and notify you after completing the delivery.


  1. BBB Scam Alert: Don’t click on that text! 6 ways to avoid delivery scams